Construction Type - Consider

5m 50s

In this ARE 5.0 NCARB-approved Project Planning and Design Exam Prep course you will learn about the topics covered in the ARE 5.0 PPD exam division. A complete and comprehensive curriculum, this course will touch on each of the NCARB objectives for the ARE 5.0 Project Planning and Design Exam.

Instructor Mike Newman will discuss issues related to the generation or evaluation of design alternatives that synthesize environmental, cultural, behavioral, technical and economic issues.

When you are done with this course, you will have a thorough understanding of the content covered in the ARE 5.0 Project Planning and Design Exam including design concepts, sustainability/environmental design, universal design, and other forms of governing codes and regulations. 

So let's consider an example of this idea of the kind of back and forth between the use and the construction type and how these issues might start to play out as we go from that question into the allowable square footage areas and the allowable heights and that kind of thing. In general when we're talking about this stuff, people have a sort of tendency to think, well, the code is just telling me no. The code is always putting up blocks and saying no, you can't do something. In actuality, it's not really doing that. What it's doing is saying if you do it this way, then you can't do something, but maybe there's another way that you could do it where you could do something.

So it's just trying to create opportunities for safe places. And so you start thinking of lots of different examples. Let's take a look at one. So, consider. The allowable area tables say you can only build a building with 20,000 square foot per floor given the use and the construction types that you have chosen, but your client says they need 25,000 square feet for the program.

What should you do? So you have a situation where you have a building and that building is wanting to be 25,000 square feet per floor, but given the choices that you've made, the limitation says it can only be 20. What are you gonna do? Well, I have a corridor maybe. That corridor has maybe some extra little bits here and there. I have stairs at the ends of those corridors. What I'm likely to do in this situation is to say, all right, if they really need the 25,000 and we can't fit it without changing to another construction type, 'cause it might be I could just say, all right, well, let's change the construction type and get a larger number.

But if for some reason that won't work, then what I'm likely to do is find a reasonable spot and put in a firewall. And so that firewall would be a four hour wall, and it's gonna divide this single building into effectively two buildings.

So I now from the building code standpoint, they would see it in this sort of schizophrenic way, they would see it as two buildings in certain ways when it comes to fire separations and things like that, and they would see it as one building in other ways. Because it really is one project. It just happens to have a concrete block or some sort of masonry wall or concrete wall that is creating a four hour separation.

And then in that corridor I would have a situation where maybe I would set it up in such a way that we could have doors that are on hold opens as they call them. So these doors will close down and become like regular operable doors, but they'd be four hour doors that would then allow the continuity of that four hour wall to be continuous.

But for anybody who happens to be walking in the corridor sort of generally during a regular day, that corridor is just wide open. So it doesn't have to necessarily alter the way the building looks. It just changes the specific decisions. So this is one of those examples where what you're saying here is it's not saying you can't do a 25,000 square foot per floor building.

What it's saying is given that use and that construction type, that's the largest area that we can have that is considered one protected space. And the thought there is if I have a fire in that location, it might impact this area. And the consideration is that in this particular use, in this particular construction type, you would have enough time to sort of deal with getting away from that big of a building, but it would have a very hard time getting through that wall and impacting this other side.

So you're effectively making it, so you're breaking it down into multiple areas that are small enough that people are safe and reasonable to be able to get out of. It's reasonable to assume they could get out of a jam in an emergency. So you might have to start thinking about how each of these has full exiting capacities, so you'd have to make sure that was working.

You might have to think about exactly where it goes. So that's a continuous wall. It goes all the way from the roof down to the basement 'cause you can't let the fire kind of easily get through just in one floor and then not protect it on another floor. So you have to find a lot of ways to make these things work, but the idea is it's never saying no. It just sounds like it's saying no.

But it's never saying no. It's just saying no in this context, in this situation, and then these are these other ways that you can make something like that work. So in this example, this building could actually be 180,000 square foot per floor. You would just have to have an awful lot of these big firewalls in it. And you'd have a lot of extra stairwells in order to make sure that people had escape routes at each of those different separate buildings. So that concept, very important in terms of how you're using the code.

It's gonna give you limitations. And then the question is: how do I use those limitations in such a way that we can actually still do what we need or want to do, but we're doing it in a way that's safe? 'Cause that's what the code is really trying to talk to you about.

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From the course:
ARE 5.0 Project Planning & Design Exam Prep

Duration: 31h

Author: Mike Newman